In the event that a deal isn't worked out within that time frame, the running back noted that he's prepared to sit out training camp and other team activities, but confirmed his intention to make himself available to the Steelers in advance of Week 1 of the regular season.
The franchise tag is worth $14.5 million guaranteed in 2018 for Bell. "I want to have the best statistical career that I possibly can, so I want to play in every game that I can possibly play".
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He even alluded to the fact he could sit out the entire season, if necessary. Bell had previously stated that he'd consider retirement if tagged again, but Steelers fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing he intends to be on the field next season.
"Hopefully, when it comes down to it, we won't have to deal with [sitting out]", Bell said. "In good spirit, I feel we can get something done".
If this all sounds familiar, it's because this is what happened a year ago - Bell was franchised, the two sides couldn't come to terms on a contract, and the running back didn't report to the team until just before the regular season. That's the biggest thing.
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According to ESPN, he wants at least $14.5 million annually on a new long-term deal. "But I'm definitely hoping for something to get done". Bell signed the franchise contract in 2017 after sitting out offseason workouts.
Bell was franchised tagged for the second time by the Steelers on Tuesday and had previously hinted he would sit out a season, or even retire from the National Football League, if that were to happen. He still had one of the best seasons of his career as he had 1,291 rushing yards with nine rushing touchdowns, as well as 85 catches for 655 receiving yards and two receiving scores.
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